Everything has a beginning and the mixed race families who would later be called Melungeons, Redbones, Lumbee, etc., began on the Chippoakes Creek in Virginia. On the map found here the red dot shows the land where the Gibsons and Chavis lived on the Upper Chippoakes Creek near the town of the Quiyoughcohannock Indians. Gibby Gibson, along with Thomas and Francis are buried across the river at Sandy Point [Lightfoot Cemetery] original capital of the Paspahegh Indians. Living there in the early 1600s were the Gibson, Chavis, Sweat, Ivey, and Collins, found quietly living among the great Indian traders.
Captain Robert Hix of the Saponi Fort and his father in law were Indian traders and some of the earliest Quakers in Virginia. The Quakers were always friendly to the Indians and it seems natural that where the Quakers went the Indians might follow. John Collins who is found in the area of the Gibson, Ivey, Bass, Sweat, etc., along the James early on married [and/or his son] into the Quaker Tooke and Crew families, both would later be found in the Quaker records in New Kent County. In the will of John Collins 1694 Surry County, he mentions his sisters Rebecca Goodman, wife of William and Jean/Jane Newby, also found in the Quaker records.
Quaker records of Cedar Creek Monthly Meeting, Virginia, 1739-1793
author: Brewer, Mary Marshall
Cedar Creek Monthly Meeting was started before 1722 in Hanover County. "It soon encompassed Friends living in the counties of Albemarle, Amelia, Bedford, Campbell, Caroline, Charles City (part), Goochland, Halifax, Hanover, Henrico, Louisa and Orange counties and Richmond City."--Introd.These Quaker families are reported to have removed to New Kent/ Hanover County where they started the Quaker Meeting house there. One Joseph Newby, possibly related to John Collins was part of the 'great revival' of the 1740s, coming from North Carolina to New Kent County MM to preach. It is around this same time the people of New Kent became worrisome over the large amount of Quakers in the county and began fining, jailing and harassing them for not taking oaths, paying tithes, etc.
It is at this same time Samuel Bunch along with the Gibson, Collins, etc., were charged with concealing tithes. Thomas Gibson also fined for not paying tithes is the brother of Valentine Gibson, Valentine's three sons also married Quakers. We know the Gibsons and Bunch, and possibly Collins through the Tooke and Crew families, were Quakers.
28 May 1745, "Ordered that William Hall, Samuel Collins, Thomas Collins, William Collins, Samuel Bunch, George Gibson, Benjamin Branham, Thomas Gibson, and William Donathan be summoned to appear at the next Court to answer the presentment of the Grandjury this day made against them for concealing tithables within twelve months past." They pled not guilty. On 27 August 1745 the jurors failed to agree on a verdict, and at the next court some of the jurors failed to appear. On 28 May 1746 the defendants argued that some of the jurors were from the same parish as they, so they would be gainers by a guilty verdict but the court rejected their argument. The jury brought in a special veridct which was referred for argument the next court, but the result was not recorded [Orders 1742-8, 152, 157, 166-7, 172, 175, 183, 193].It appears this case dragged on almost a year or more, jury couldn't reach a verdict, then some didn't show up, and then they brought in a 'special verdict' and referred to the next court? Does this sound like 'mulatto men concealing their mulatto wives'?
Here we find the Quakers William Echols and his son in law Moses Hendrick with the Melungeon families of Shadrach Goins and Champ Gibson, living alongside the Indian Sizemores. Some researchers have bent over backwards to prove these families from Louisa County were African because they were associated with the Goins and other 'Sub Saharan' families. By the same standards then would they pronounce these families all Melungeons? All Quakers? All Indians?
16 Apr 1761 Halifax Co., VA. William and wife Mary Russell of Raleigh Parish (also spelled Royley), Amelia Co., for £200 conveyed to Daniel Easley of King William Parish, Cumberland Co., two tracts of land: 691 acres on the south side of Banister River and another tract on the same river, other tract beginning at Alexander Nelson’s corner, to lines of Echols and Sizemore. Wit: Ezekiel Slaughter, James Daniel, Thomas Lacy, Jr. Signed by mark “X.” Mary, wife of sd Russell relinquished her right of dower.  Note: This land was granted 12 May 1759 to him next or near William Eckhols. They lived on Polecat Creek. Note: Polecat Creek was part of the Bannister River.
Halifax County Road OrdersWilliam Echols daughter Hannah married to Vardrey McBee. Rhoda, daughter of Hannah Nichols and Vardrey McBee married or at least had children with Jordan Gibson who resided at Thickety Creek, Spartanburg, South Carolina.
21 Mar 1771 Road Order: George Combs appointed Surveyor of the Road leading from Boyd’s Road to Roberts’ Road...ordered that he, with male tithables belonging to Moses Hendrick, William Echols, Sr., John Anderson, Mead Anderson, Shadrach Gowing, Harry Hereford, John Chapman, John Hood, Nipper Adams, William Donathan, Thomas Spencer, William Mays, Nathan Sullins, Charles Henderson, George Wood, George Stubblefield, Daniel Easely, Stephen Easely, Joshua Adams, Thomas Lovelace, Samuel Wilson, George Brown, Champ Gibson, and William Chandler, do forthwith lay open and clear the said Road, and they then return to their former road. (Halifax County, VA, Court Orders, 7:80)
Spartanburg Co., S.C. Minutes of the County Court 1785-1799 : Ordered that the child Durrel McBee which was pretended to be bound to Vardry McBee be delivered to the care of its mother Rhoda McBee , alias Gibson & Jordan Gibson her Husband"Gibson, Collins Bunch., had moved to Haw and Eno Rivers in Orange County and lived along the Trading Path. Gibsons, Goins, Bass, etc., went from Bertie County, home of Tuscarora and Saponi, to the Pee Dee River area where Saura town is on 1725 map. George Gibson son of John Gibson of Bertie County is found in Orange County with Thomas Gibson of Louisa. Walter Gibson is documented as a 'Chieftan' of the Tuscarora in Bertie County.
As the mixed Indian families left Charles City County moving into New Kent/Hanover and the Carolinas they are still found amongst the Indian traders. In 1751 Edward Nicks, son in law of Thomas Gibson who died 1734 in Hanover, and Thomas' son John, are found on the Dan River in Granville County the area that would become Rockingham and Caswell, Besides a second John Gibson we find Christopher Gist and his son Nathaniel, said to be father of 'Sequoyah' and 'husband' of Wurteh, also living there.
Christopher Gist had just returned from his trip to the Ohio Indians and returning to his home on the Yadkin River found they had removed. The Jefferson-Fry map surveyed by William Churton in 1749 shows at Mulberry Fields 'Gyst Jr', probably one of the first settlers in Wilkes County. Christopher reported his son, Nathaniel, was living with 'his people' in the Cherokee Village after his Ohio trip. A William Lawson also residing on the Dan River may be related to the Lawsons on Newmans Ridge.
One story has William Lawson having children with "Wurteh." A David Lawson is supposedly the son of one Hooker out of Surry/Stokes County, North Carolina where many of the Melungeon/Indian families had roots. Samuel Hooker married Elizabeth Gibson who may have been the daughter of Valentine Gibson. Samuel Hooker and George Sizemore are found in the Bowman DNA project and the Hooker and Lawson are found in the Lawson project. The daughter of William Hooker married Samuel Sizemore. The Lawson family living in Hawkins County in 1845 also have Native American DNA as does the Freeman family.
Orange County, North Carolina
In Orange County, North Carolina we find records of Moses Riddle, later identified as an Indian in the tax records. The Collins of Orange County were residing on Indian lands by 1773. Peter Helton, a Cherokee, with Q DNA is also in Orange County, North Carolina. From Jeff Weaver's New River Notes;
William Austin was Born in the 1750s in Halifax Co., VA; Parents John Austin Jr. (abt 1720-abt 1795 Washington Co., TN) and Mary Mc Bee; His father John was the son of John Austin Sr. (d. about 1759 Cornwall Parish, Lunenburg Co., VA) and a Saponi Indian woman.
John Austin , Jr. along with she and Marry a Susquohanah Indian and Thomas Cattaba applied for a pass to the Cataba Nation being now on their journey to conclude a general peace with the Cattabas in behalf of the said nations and also presented three belts of Wampum to said Court by which the said Treaty was of be concluded. (Recording in the Rowan/Orange County (North Carolina) book, page 72 dated 19 April 1755.The above Mary McBee is said to be the sister of Vardry McBee who married Hannah Echols. Jordan Gibson who married their daughter is said to be son of Gilbert Gibson of Louisa County and later went to Logan County, Kentucky from Spartanburg, South Carolina. The Austins are in Orange County, North Carolina and serve in the Virginia Militia alongside the Melungeon families.
And so we find these Quaker and Indian families closely associated with the early Melungeon families. Is it merely coincidental we find these Melungeon families associated with the Quaker Tooke, Crew, Goodmans, Hix, Echols, Hendricks, etc., and the proven Native American families of Sizemore, Riddle, Austin, Helton, Lawson, Freeeman etc? Is it merely coincidental as they relocate from the 1650s through 1800 they are found along the Indian trading paths or in the Indian trading towns?
Is it merely coincidental they are found in Wilkes County near the old Cherokee town Mulberry Fields. Or that they left there and are found next along the old Indian lands along Panther Creek on Newman's Ridge -- where coincidentally the Cherokee boundary was drawn in 1785 - straight through Sneedville? Is it coincidental the Melungeon families left the Pee Dee River area, moving over the mountains to join the other Indian families on Newman's Ridge and then settling on the Cherokee town of 'Sale Creek' in Hamilton County?
These are just a few of the notes in my files, much more research needs to be done on these families and in these counties.
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